Limpopo folks make good in the big naartjie

Letter from Limpopo: They may come from the other end of the N1 but Thabiso Sekhula says that special Limpopo factor turns them into Superstars in the big city.

My partner always says there are more people in Gauteng from Limpopo than in other places combined, and looking at the traffic on the N1, although extreme, there is lots of truth to that.

During my latest trip to Gauteng, I wanted to test this theory out. It led to beautiful interactions.

I am more aware of people who speak Sepedi, Xitsonga and TshiVenda when I’m not in Limpopo, and when we spot each other, it turns into minutes of greetings, jokes and stories about home. It’s such a beautiful and effortless connection that reminds us of home.

I have five colleagues from Limpopo working at the Johannesburg office and one of them happens to know the owner of a really amazing new venue we would love to host events at.

I met Glen Lewis at a hotel where he has a DJ residency. I was staying over while doing a few days of work in the city.

Glen was promoting the Limpopo brand before I even went to high school through his sound and unashamed broadcasting in the Venda language as a fellow lekarapa. I had to show my appreciation.

We ended up talking about why Limpopo people will go home every week despite the many hours it takes from Gauteng, how undermarketed Limpopo tourism is and the potential the province has in its people and geography.

Two hours earlier I had gone out for some food and bumped into a friend we made on her visit to Limpopo a few months ago.

And since yours truly is an actual social media influencer, hint hint, I was invited to a TikTok masterclass to represent my page @1000LimpopoSecrets and wow, was I inspired.

I met a young lady called Miss Hillary. She is most famous on social media for promoting the Tsonga culture by making appearances at the most modern events and dancing to modern music like amapiano in her xibelani, a traditional tsonga dancing skirt.

Miss Hillary has put the Tsonga culture and Limpopo on the map so that when international superstars come into the country, the Department of Tourism calls on her to represent them.

She was part of the former Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida’s entourage when she went to represent the country at Miss World in a xibelani outfit inspired by Hillary.

 I also met Madam Speaker, arguably one of the biggest motivational speakers at the moment. A woman from Lephalale making an impact not only in South Africa but across the continent.

All the superstars we met were humble and gave me so much of their time and recorded videos shouting Limpopo to the world.

And I met so many regular people who refuse to be normal and dare to use a bit of their Limpopo roots to break through in a world filled with talent. They still stand out. Last order of my trip, to see the new art installations by rural Limpopo artists from Elim at the world famous Nirox Sculpture Park. That’s that Limpopo factor.


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